Utility data analytics driving Soft Grid

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Total global spending on power utility data analytics is expected to top $20 billion with an annual spend of $3.8 billion by 2020, according to GTM Research.

"With the influx of big data, the potential of smart grid has shifted dramatically from the original aim of adding a myriad of new devices toward a complete re-invention of the way utilities do business," said Rick Thompson, president and co-founder at GTM Research. "We are now moving into a market where the spotlight will be on the data analytics software that will allow utilities to track, visualize and predict everything from grid operations to electricity consumption. These capabilities are the core elements of what GTM Research calls, The Soft Grid."

Driving this growth are data technologies, ranging from open-source data management platforms like Hadoop and massively parallel processing (MPP) big data appliances to predictive analytics and the cost improvements and enhanced performance of underlying data storage and infrastructure layer.

Supporting this technology shift is a rich ecosystem of vendors. While the biggest names in IT are positioning themselves to be at the head of the class, it is becoming apparent that there will be several seminal companies that will be launched in this Soft Grid space, to which utilities will look for new products and services.

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